Kerala struggling to get back on its feet after devastating monsoon floods

(Caritas India)

India's Kerala state is 'only just beginning to recover' after it was hit by the worst monsoon floods in a century.

Around 500 people were killed as flood waters submerged most of the south-eastern state in August after unusually heavy monsoon rains, forcing large numbers of people into relief camps.

Tens of thousands are in need of practical assistance as they try to get back on their feet, with Caritas India providing food and other essentials like hygiene products.

The aid agency said the focus of its operations going forward would be reaching 40,000 people in the most isolated areas of the state, including impoverished Dalit and tribal people.

The director of Caritas India, Fr Paul Mooniely, said many people in the more remote areas still had nothing but the clothes they were wearing when the floods struck.

He said immediate needs include food, clothing, bedding, mosquito nets, medicine, clean drinking water and temporary shelter.

Even as the flood waters recede, he said there were long-term problems that need to be addressed, with farmers, daily wage workers and agricultural labourers among those unable to return to work for several months.

'Sanitation and hygiene has been severely compromised, and the risk of epidemics is extremely high,' he said.

'But as the floodwaters recede, many people will need longer-term rehabilitation, reconstruction and livelihood support. Thousands have no homes to go back to.'

The weather continues to impede recovery efforts, though, as the Met office has issued a yellow alert for heavy rain again this week in at least four districts.

The Met office said Pathanamthitta, Idukki, Wayanad and Thrissur districts could receive up to 124mm of rain over the course of Tuesday and Wednesday.

Source: Christian Today